Skip to main content

U.S. Election Assistance Commission Study on Disability and Voting Accessibility in the 2020 Elections

Thursday, April 21, 2022

The EAC’s “Disability and Voting Accessibility in the 2020 Elections” study has been completed under the clearinghouse and research mandates outlined in the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). The study aimed to analyze the 2020 election experience for voters with disabilities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Building on a similar EAC study conducted in 2012, the EAC collaborated with a team of experienced researchers from Rutgers University and launched the project immediately after the 2020 general election. 

Disability and Voting Accessibility in the 2020 Elections (PDF version link)

Disability and Voting Accessibility in the 2020 Elections (Word version link)

The 2020 study engaged 2,569 respondents including 1,782 voters with disabilities and 787 voters without disabilities. As in 2012, the oversampling of voters with disabilities was designed to produce a sample large enough for precise measurements and reliable breakdowns by demographic variables and type of disability.

The study focused on polling place access, mail and absentee voting accessibility, election administration challenges, COVID-19 obstacles, and civic participation. As the EAC plans for future elections, this data will be crucial in helping officials adopt new voting technologies and address the ever-growing accessibility needs of an aging demographic.

Under HAVA directives, the EAC is tasked with maintaining a clearinghouse of election administration information. To fulfill this mission, the EAC provides best practices recommendations, training materials, and other resources for election officials. By enhancing our work with voters with disabilities and the election officials who serve them, we aim to improve accessibility and to ensure an independent and private vote for all.